Answered Essay: Discuss various cyber laws that apply to IT security. Give your view on cyber related legislation?

Discuss various cyber laws that apply to IT security. Give your view on cyber related legislation?

Expert Answer


Cyberspace can be defined as an intricate environment that involves interactions between people, software, and services. It is maintained by the worldwide distribution of information and communication technology devices and networks.
With the benefits carried by the technological advancements, the cyberspace today has become a common pool used by citizens, businesses, critical information infrastructure, military and governments. The cyberspace is anticipated to become even more complex in the upcoming years, with the increase in networks and devices connected to it.
Cybersecurity denotes the technologies and procedures intended to safeguard computers, networks, and data from unlawful admittance, weaknesses, and attacks transported through the Internet by cyber delinquents.
In Simple way we can say that cyber crime is unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a tool or a target or both
Cyber crimes can involve criminal activities that are traditional in nature, such as theft, fraud, forgery, defamation and mischief, all of which are subject to the Indian Penal Code. The abuse of computers has also given birth to a gamut of new age crimes that are addressed by the Information Technology Act, 2000.

We can categorize Cyber crimes in two ways

The Computer as a Target :-using a computer to attack other computers.

e.g. Hacking,Virus/Worm attacks,DOS attack etc.

The computer as a weapon :-using a computer to commit real world crimes.

e.g. Cyber Terrorism, IPR violations,Credit card frauds,EFT frauds, Pornography etc.
Cyber law (also referred to as cyberlaw) is a term used to describe the legal issues related to use of communications technology, particularly “cyberspace”, i.e. the Internet. It is less a distinct field of law in the way that property or contract are as it is an intersection of many legal fields, including intellectual property, privacy, freedom of expression, and jurisdiction. In essence, cyber law is an attempt to integrate the challenges presented by human activity on the Internet with legacy system of laws applicable to the physical world.
Cyber law in India is incorporated in the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act, 2000). The IT Act, 2000 chiefly covers:
(a) E-commerce in India
(b) E-governance in India
(c) Cyber contraventions
(d) Cyber crimes, etc.
Salient features of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008:
1.The term ‘digital signature’ has been replaced with ‘electronic
signature’ to make the Act more technology neutral.
2. A new section has been inserted to define ‘communication device’
to mean cell phones, personal digital assistance or combination of
both or any other device used to communicate, send or transmit
any text video, audio or image.
3. A new section has been added to define cyber cafe as any facility
from where the access to the internet is offered by any person in
the ordinary course of business to the members of the public.
4. A new definition has been inserted for intermediary.
5. A new section 10A has been inserted to the effect that contracts
concluded electronically shall not be deemed to be unenforceable
solely on the ground that electronic form or means was used.
The damages of Rs. One Crore prescribed under section 43 of the
earlier Act of 2000 for damage to computer, computer system etc.
has been deleted and the relevant parts of the section have been
substituted by the words, ‘he shall be liable to pay damages by way
of compensation to the person so affected’.
6. A new section 43A has been inserted to protect sensitive personal
data or information possessed, dealt or handled by a body
corporate in a computer resource which such body corporate owns,
controls or operates. If such body corporate is negligent in
implementing and maintaining reasonable security practices and
procedures and thereby causes wrongful loss or wrongful gain to
any person, it shall be liable to pay damages by way of
compensation to the person so affected.
7. Sections 66A to 66F has been added to Section 66 prescribing
punishment for offences such as obscene electronic message
transmissions, identity theft, cheating by impersonation using
computer resource, violation of privacy and cyber terrorism.
8. Section 67 of the IT Act, 2000 has been amended to reduce the
term of imprisonment for publishing or transmitting obscene
material in electronic form to three years from five years and
increase the fine thereof from Rs.100,000 to Rs. 500,000. Sections
67A to 67C have also been inserted. While Sections 67A and B
deals with penal provisions in respect of offences of publishing or
transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act and child
pornography in electronic form, Section 67C deals with the
obligation of an intermediary to preserve and retain such
information as may be specified for such duration and in such
manner and format as the central government may prescribe.
9. In view of the increasing threat of terrorism in the country, the new
amendments include an amended section 69 giving power to the
state to issue directions for interception or monitoring of
decryption of any information through any computer resource.
Further, sections 69A and B, two new sections, grant power to the
state to issue directions for blocking for public access of any
information through any computer resource and to authorize to
monitor and collect traffic data or information through any
computer resource for cyber security.
10. Section 79 of the Act which exempted intermediaries has been
modified to the effect that an intermediary shall not be liable for
any third party information data or communication link made
available or hosted by him if; (a) The function of the intermediary is
limited to providing access to a communication system over which
information made available by third parties is transmitted or
temporarily stored or hosted; (b) The intermediary does not initiate
the transmission or select the receiver of the transmission and
select or modify the information contained in the transmission; (c)
The intermediary observes due diligence while discharging his
duties. However, section 79 will not apply to an intermediary if the
intermediary has conspired or abetted or aided or induced whether
by threats or promise or otherwise in the commission of the
unlawful act or upon receiving actual knowledge or on being
notified that any information, data or communication link residing
in or connected to a computer resource controlled by it is being
used to commit an unlawful act, the intermediary fails to
expeditiously remove or disable access to that material on that
resource without vitiating the evidence in any manner.
11. A proviso has been added to Section 81 which states that the
provisions of the Act shall have overriding effect. The proviso states
that nothing contained in the Act shall restrict any person from
exercising any right conferred under the Copyright Act, 1957

Legislation was introduced/considered in at least 28 states in 2016. Fifteen of those states enacted legislation, many addressing issues related to 1) security practices and protection of information in government agencies, 2) exemptions from state Freedom of Information or public records acts for information that could jeopardize security of critical information or infrastructure, and 3) cyber/computer crimes.

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